Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
In modern terms, wax is an imprecisely defined term generally understood to be a substance with properties similar to beeswax, namely
- plastic (malleable) at normal ambient temperatures
- a melting point above approximately 45 °C (which differentiates waxes from fats and oils)
- a relatively low viscosity when melted (unlike many plastics)
- insoluble in water
Waxes may be natural or artificial. In addition to beeswax, carnauba (a vegetable wax) and paraffin (a mineral wax) are commonly encountered waxes which occur naturally. Ear wax is a sticky substance found in the human ear. Some artificial materials that exhibit similar properties are also described as wax or waxy.
Chemically, a wax may be an ester of ethylene glycol (ethane 1,2-diol) and two fatty acids, as opposed to a fat which is an ester of glycerin (propane 1,2,3-triol) and three fatty acids. It is a type of lipid.
- paraffin wax and paraffin
- hair wax
- waxing for hair removal
- wax play
- SC Johnson Company
- ski wax
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